Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca Murdered

January 14, 2019


On the night of January 3rd, human rights defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca was murdered near his home in the city of Arriaga, Chiapas, which was attributed to hit men on a motorcycle who approached him at close range to shoot him at point-blank.

On his Twitter account, Governor Rutilio Escandon Cadenas expressed his condolences to the family and announced that justice will be done in the case. For its part, the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE in its Spanish acronym) reported that it began investigations into the homicide and sent a Special Group to clarify the facts and determine responsibilities.

Sinar Corzo Equinca was part of the Coloso de Piedra Citizen Committee for the Defense of Human Rights and was actively engaged in defending various causes such as the management of works and roads for indigenous communities, care for the environment, the struggle of tenants and of the Public Market of Coloso de Piedra of to obtain decent spaces for the sale of their products, and had added to the demands for the reconstruction of damages caused by the earthquake of September 7th, 2017. In fact, hours before his death, Corzo Esquinca met with Arriaga municipal authorities to discuss issues related to the construction of La Linea highway and the improvement of fishing communities. He had already reported direct attacks, arbitrary arrest and death threats since 2013.

Following the murder, the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) expressed its condolences to Sinar’s relatives, to the members of the Coloso de Piedra organization and to his friends. It urged the government of Chiapas and the Prosecutor’s Office to implement precautionary measures to protect the relatives of the defender and those who constitute the organization “El Coloso de Piedra”, as well as to investigate the crime in response to the work that the victim was doing.

More than 150 civil society organizations including the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations and SIPAZ condemned the killing of the activist and expressed that they “view with concern this sign of the fragile situation in which human rights defenders find themselves in the state of Chiapas. We call on the Mexican State so that the corresponding authorities conduct a prompt, exhaustive, diligent and effective investigation to bring those responsible to justice and this fact will not be repeated anywhere else.” They recalled that “human rights defenders play a transcendental role for the democracy of our country and their work must be carried out in a safe and autonomous manner.”

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan a Sinar Corzo Esquinca, activista y defensor de derechos humanos en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de enero de 2019)

Asesinan al activista Sinar Corzo Esquinca en Chiapas (La Jornada, 4 de enero de 2019)

Asesinan en Chiapas al activista y defensor de pueblos indígenas Sinar Corzo; fiscalía inicia investigación (Animal Político, 4 de enero de 2019)

Activistas condenan asesinato de Sinar Corzo en Chiapas (Heraldo de México, 4 de enero de 2019)

Pronunciamiento conjunto, condenamos el asesinato del activista y defensor de derechos humanos Sinar Corzo Esquinca (OSC, 4 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: denuncian criminalización de defensores medioambientales en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (28 de diciembre de 2018)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office
(December 14th, 2018)



Chiapas: Zapatista Mass Meeting in Realidad Caracol 25 Years after Armed Uprising

January 14, 2019


On December 31st, within the framework of the 25th anniversary of the armed uprising, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) announced from the Caracol de La Realidad, in the Lacandon Jungle, border region, that it will oppose several of the plans “of destruction” of the new president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), including the massive planting of trees in several states, including Chiapas, the Maya Train, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Project (Oaxaca) or the National Guard (which would prolong the military presence in public security work as has been pointed out by national and international human rights organizations): “As much as they try to humiliate us with the repressive forces such as the National Guard, we will not rest in defending our Mother Earth because in her we were born, in her we live and in her we will die. We will not surrender, we will not sell out and we will not give up.” “Let us fight. We are going to confront, we are not going to allow (Lopez Obrador) to pass his destruction projects here. We are not afraid of his National Guard, who changed its name, so as not to say Army”, Sub-commander Moises said.

“We tell him that we do not believe him”, he added, describing AMLO as “tricky” and “crafty” for wanting to pretend to be with the original peoples of Mexico when, in fact, he said, he seeks to “destroy them.”

Although during the five days prior to the anniversary, the EZLN held a meeting with members of the National Indigenous Council (CNI in its Spanish acronym), the Indigenous Council of Government and solidarity groups, it said that for 25 years “we have seen that we are alone; what we have achieved has been with our work and effort, with our mistakes. (…) We went to awaken, we went to tell the poor people of Mexico, of the countryside and the city. Many did not pay attention to us, some are organizing themselves, and we hope they continue yo organize. But we see that most did not listen to us. But we did the work, and we have more to do. (…) People come and go from outside. We continue here. Each time they come as tourists, but misery, inequality and injustice are not for tourism. The young people of Mexico will continue to die. What a pity that they pay attention to someone who is there deceiving the people.”

He finished his statement emphasizing: “we are going to defend what we have built. (…) The change we want is that one day the people, women and men are those who have to decide how they want their life, not that a group decides the lives of millions of human beings. We say it only with these words: the people rule, and the government obeys. That is why we say: here we are, we are the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and here we will continue!”

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador affirmed that he will not fall into “any provocation” from the Zapatista movement: “Even if they want to confront us, there will be no response. (…) I express my respect for their plans, programs and decisions. We live in a free country, there is no repression and there is no censorship,” he said.

For more information in Spanish:

López Obrador responde al EZLN: ‘Amor y paz… no me van a cucar’ (Vanguardia, 2 de enero de 2019)

EZLN y Marcos: ¿cuál es el principal aporte del zapatismo a México a 25 años de su levantamiento armado? (BBC, 1ero de enero de 2019)

EZLN, balance a 25 años (Proceso, 1ero de enero de 2019)

AMLO está engañando a los pueblos; nosotros no le creemos: EZLN (Aristegui Noticias, 1ero de enero de 2019)

EZLN: a 25 años del embeleso mundial que causó el zapatismo (Excelsior, 1ero de enero de 2019)

El EZLN advierte que se opondrá al Tren Maya y a la Guardia Nacional (Animal Político, 1ero de enero de 2019)

El EZLN advierte que se opondrá a los proyectos de AMLO (ADN Político, 1ero de enero de 2019)

En su 25 aniversario el EZLN critica al gobierno de AMLO (La Jornada, 1ero de enero de 2019)

Las victorias del EZLN (La Jornada, 31 de diciembre de 2018)

Los 25 años del EZLN: la vigencia de sus demandas (Proceso, 31 de diciembre de 2018)

EZLN prepara “red de resistencia” contra proyectos de López Obrador (Vanguardia, 30 de diciembre de 2018)


EZLN: veinticinco años (LA Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: EZLN Invitation to 25th Anniversary of Zapatista Uprising and Meeting of Networks (December 11th, 2018)

Chiapas : segunda y tercera parte del comunicado del EZLN compartido durante el Encuentro de Redes en Morelia, (23/08/2018)

Chiapas: Comunicado EZLN (primera parte) UNA FINCA, UN MUNDO, UNA GUERRA, POCAS PROBABILIDADES, (22/08/2018)

Chiapas: Meeting of CIG Support Networks, COMPARTE 2018 “For Life and Liberty” and 15th Anniversary of the Zapatista Caracoles (August 22nd, 2018)


National/International: Inter-American Court Rules Mexico Responsible for Sexual Torture of Women in Atenco

January 5, 2019

Atenco.png(@Centro ProDH)

On December 21st, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) determined that the Mexican State was responsible for the sexual torture of which 11 women were victims during a 2006 police operation in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State.

It should be recalled that on May 3rd and 4th, 2006, police forces carried out an operation in San Salvador Atenco supposedly to “re-establish order” during a series of protests by the inhabitants over the construction of an airport. More than 200 people were arrested during the raids. 50 of them were women, 31 of whom later reported sexual assaults by the police.

“The use of force by the police authorities when arresting them was not legitimate or necessary, but it was also excessive and unacceptable due to the sexual and discriminatory nature of the aggressions suffered. The Court concluded that the indiscriminate use of force by the State in this case, as a result of an absence of adequate regulation, a lack of training of the agents, inefficient supervision and monitoring of the operation, and a misconception that violence of some justified the use of force against all”, the Court said.

It should be emphasized that the judgments of the IACHR are binding for Mexico, and therefore the State is obliged to comply with all the measures ordered by the Inter-American Court. The Miguel Agustin Pro Juárez Human Rights Center declared that, “with this historic sentence, the State has the possibility to put an end to impunity in the emblematic case of Atenco and to take concrete measures to prevent such violations of human rights from being reproduced in other contexts. The full and prompt compliance with the sentence announced by the Court today will be a clear sign of the new government’s commitment to human rights. Moreover, in a context in which the security model is under discussion in Mexico, with the intention of creating a militarized National Guard, the sentence issued by the Court in the Atenco case – as with the resolution published yesterday regarding the Alvarado case – obllige the Mexican Legislative Power to review the legislation that it intends to pass in light of the standards set by the Inter-American Court, which reinforce the perspective of citizen security of a civil nature and external supervision of security institutions.”

For more information in Spanish:


En sentencia histórica, Corte Interamericana ordena al Estado mexicano sancionar represión y tortura en Atenco (Centro ProDH, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Ilegítimo e innecesario, el uso de la fuerza en Atenco: Corte Interamericana al notificar sentencia al Estado mexicano (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Culpa Corte IDH al Estado por tortura de mujeres de Atenco (La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Responsabilidad internacional del Estado mexicano en actos de tortura contra 11 mujeres de Atenco: CoIDH (Proceso, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Corte IDH: El Estado mexicano violó DDHH de mujeres en Atenco, cuando Peña gobernaba Edomex (Sin Embargo, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

CIDH responsabiliza al Estado por tortura sexual de 11 mujeres en Atenco (Radio Fórmula, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Hearing of Cases of Sexual Torture in San Salvador Atenco at IACHR Court (November 29th, 2017)

Mexico: IACHR Demands Investigation into Case of Female Victims of Sexual Abuse in Atenco in 2006 (October 10th, 2016)



Oaxaca: Verdict of the Popular Community Trial against the Mexican State and the mining companies

January 4, 2019


On December 10th, on the International Human Rights Day as part of a political act in front of the Government Palace villages in Oaxaca-City, communities and organizations that participated in the “Popular Community Trial against the State and Mining Companies in Oaxaca” last October publicly presented the final verdict.

It should be remembered that in the Popular Community Trial participated 52 communities who presented 22 cases of affectations caused by mining in 5 of the state’s regions including – says the verdict- “irreversible affectations to the ecosystem, river contamination, fractures in the social structure and generalized insecurity in the regions, where those mining projects operate through mining companies, shock groups and state authorities”.

The verdict put forward the necessity to rescind the 322 concessions and the 41 valid mining projects within the State “as those were imposed without previous, free and informed consent by the communities and while violating our right to self-determination and autonomy to our cultural integrity, to administrate and control our territories and to maintain the collective property of our lands and communal natural goods”.

Equally, it demanded the immediate suspension of the issue of quarrying rights “until a new legal framework has been elaborated that fully and effectively respects the indigenous people’s rights as they were established in international treaties and the Constitution, until the repeal of the current mining law and others that protect the relations with that industry”. Likewise, it urged the authorities to pass laws and public policies which protect the indigenous people’s rights, which recognize them as subjects to public rights and include the in effective mechanisms of integral reparations for the caused damage.

The legal judgment also put forward the necessity to protect those who defend their territories so that they can do so in “conditions of liberty and security” and it demanded that “the politics of criminalization against the social protest are stopped, that the people responsible for assassinations are punished and that the disappeared territorial activists are presented alive immediately as well as the suspension of arrest warrants issued for the same reasons, individual and collective threats”.

The political act ended proclaiming “Yes to life, no to mining!” and “Neither gold nor silver, mining kills!”.

The report about the civil trial details that until 2017 there haven been registered 42 mining projects by 38 companies from Canada, the United States, Peru, Australia and Mexico. 36 of them in stage of exploration, 2 in development, one was postponed and 2 are already in the phase of commercial exploitation.

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca territorio prohibido para la minería”: exigencia de pueblos, comunidades y organizaciones frente al nuevo gobierno federal (Pronunciamiento e Informe, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Juicio Popular Comunitario contra el Estado y las Empresas Mineras (Vídeo, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Comunidades indígenas de Oaxaca exigen la prohibición total de la minería en el estado (Animal Político, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Demandan pueblos que Oaxaca sea territorio libre de minería (NVI Noticias, 12 de diciembre de 2018)

Oaxaca, territorio prohibido para la minería”: exigencia de comunidades al nuevo gobierno (Desinformémonos, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Repudian proyectos de mineras en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held (October 16th, 2018)

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held

Oaxaca: Anuncian juicio popular contra empresas mineras. (9 de agosto de 2018)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government

December 13, 2018


On November 24th and 25th, the consultation was held on the Maya Train and nine other projects that the next executive considers “priority” to implement as soon as it officially takes office on December 1st.

1,098 voting tables installed in 538 municipalities nationwide were used, according to the Arturo Rosenblueth Foundation, in charge of the organization. 946,081 people participated in this consultation and 89.9% voted in favor of the proposed Mayan Train project that seeks to communicate the main archaeological centers of the Maya zone in five states of southeastern Mexico. All the other proposals received more than 90% of votes in favor: the development of the Tehuantepec Isthmus Train; the refinery in Dos Bocas, Tabasco; the reforestation program; the increase in the pension for adults over 68 years of age; the granting of scholarships to all students of public high schools in the country; the delivery of pensions to disabled people; as well as guaranteed medical attention and free internet coverage.

Specialists, academics, environmentalists, scientists and civil organizations have questioned the development proposals included in this package, mainly due to the ecological damage that these projects could cause.

For its part, the Movement in Defense of the Land and the Territory in Chiapas questioned why none of these projects was brought to consultation with the people that will be directly affected when it is carried out in cities. “Of the 79 spaces that were installed in the state, only one was in the municipality of Palenque and it was located in the municipal capital, far from the places through which it will transit -in case of materializing- in its 45 kilometers,” they said.

For more information in Spanish:

El Tren Maya y su impacto en las comunidades, Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2018

Tren Maya pasa la consulta de López Obrador en México con el 89,9% de los votos, CNN, 26 de noviembre de 2018

Equipo de AMLO presume que programas obtuvieron más del 90% de aceptación; Tren Maya, el menos votado (Animal Político, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

Consulta sobre Tren Maya no llegó a los pueblos, comunidades y ejidos que impactará en Chiapas (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

Pueblos indígenas no participaron como se esperaba: Claudia Muñoz (La Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

Resultados de la Consulta Nacional 10 Programas Prioritarios (Fundación Arturo Rosenblueth, 25 de noviembre de 2018)

Les falta baño de pueblo, dice López Obrador a críticos del Tren Maya (Animal Político, 25 de noviembre de 2018)

Entre burócratas y ciudadanos los que más participaron en la consulta de AMLO (, 25 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Faced with Rejection of National Guard, AMLO Proposes New Consultation (December 12th, 2018)

National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14th, 2018)

National: Mexico International Airport in Texcoco is canceled after consultation
(November 3rd, 2018)

Mexico: proposal from future AMLO government – Mayan Train to tour the southern states of the country and attract more tourism  (September 15th, 2018)


Guerrero/National: 13th Meeting of MAPDER in Cacahuatepec

December 12, 2018

MAPDER13th Meeting of MAPDER, Guerrero (@Mario Marlo)

The 13th Meeting of the Mexican Movement of People Affected by Dams and in Defense of the Rivers (MAPDER in its Spanish acronym) was held in the community of Salsipuesdes, in the Communal Property of Cacahuatepec, near Acapulco, in the state of Guerrero, from November 16th to 18th, within the framework of its 15 years of resistance. The objective of the meeting was “to share experiences and knowledge from the different resistance movements, affected and organizations that compose MAPDER, analyze MAPDER’s political proposal for the next political scenario, strengthen and provide solidarity to members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam (CECOP in its Spanish acronym).” Social organizations and defenders from Colombia and Brazil were also present at the event.

They recalled that hydroelectric projects have displaced people and caused environmental devastation in the name of progress. They also denounced “the deepening of the neoliberal model with a project to facilitate the control of territory by big capital, as are the special economic zones that the new government intends to continue promoting.”

They told the new government that they will not accept “the imposition of dams and hydroelectric projects as well as other extractive models that have led to confrontation, repression and criminalization of those who for many years have defended our lands, the rights of peoples and territories.” They said that “the so-called Agrarian Development Law which aims to abrogate the Agrarian Law, goes in that same direction, it is the law left pending by the Peña government and gives continuity to the Salinist reform of Article 27, which opened the Mexican countryside to national, foreign private capital, and if they intend this to be change, they will soon come up against the people who elected them.”

In particular, they called for an end to harassment against CECOP members, immediate release of 19 of its members and all political prisoners in the country, as well as the departure of the state police from the territory of Cacahuatepec. In addition to justice for the murder of the defenders of territory in the northern mountains of Puebla and the presentation alive of the defender Sergio Rivera; as well as the definitive cancellation of the projects of the dams, La Parota in Guerrero, Las Cruces in Nayarit, the Purgatory in Jalisco, Paso de la Reyna Oaxaca, the Naranjal in Veracruz, Milpillas in Zacatecas; and the immediate dismantling of the El Zapotillo dam in Jalisco and an audit of the restoration project of the Rio Verde basin.

For more information in Spanish:

No aceptarán la imposición de presas en el gobierno de AMLO, dicen ambientalistas (El Sur, 19 de noviembre de 2018)

Llaman activistas a mantener la lucha contra construcción de presas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 18 de noviembre de 2018)

Activistas de 3 países piden a pueblos seguir su lucha contra proyectos hidroeléctricos (La Jornada, 18 de noviembre de 2018)

Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Presas prepara encuentro en Salsipuedes, Guerrero (Somos el medio, 15 de noviembre de 2018)


For more information from SIPAZ:

National: XI National Meeting of the Mexican Movement of Those Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (MAPDER) in Olintla, Puebla (September 15th, 2014)

Guerrero: national and international organizations visit prisoners of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC (October 10th, 2018)

Guerrero: 50 arrest warrants against members of CECOP (September 24th, 2018)

Guerrero : Detienen a otro integrante del Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositoras a La Parota (CECOP) en medio de presiones de fuerzas civiles armadas (September 5th, 2018)

Guerrero: Nine of 25 Detainees from Confrontation in La Concepción in January Released
(September 17th, 2018)

Guerrero / National: Nestora Salgado announces campaign for the freedom of political prisoners  (September 16th, 2018)

Guerrero : Cancelación definitiva de la Parota y libertad de presos, pide CECOP en su 15 aniversario (31 de julio de 2018)

Guerrero: Extrajudicial Executions and Arrests of Community Police and Members of CECOP  (January 22nd, 2018)



National: March in Favor of NAICM in Texcoco Polarizes Public Opinion

November 20, 2018

Airport.pngPhoto @ Aristegui Noticias

 On November 11th, a march with around five thousand participants took place, according to reports from the police of the capital, which walked from the Angel of Independence to the Zocalo in Mexico City. According to La Jornada, it was called by “organizations, Citizens for Mexico, the Pro-Neighbor Movement, whose leader was a candidate for representative of the PRI in Mexico City and for the Senate in 2006 for New Alliance, Stop Kidnapping, Citizens’ Chain, Citizens’ Coordinator, among others”, to demonstrate in favor of the continuation of the construction of the New International Airport of Mexico City (NAICM in its Spanish acronym) on Lake Texcoco.

The controversial demonstration, which has been disparaged as the “posh march”, whose participants dressed mostly in black, representing the mourning for the cancellation of the project, generated polarization in several media and social networks due to the participation of Juan Dabdoub, homophobic ultra-right activist, leading the contingent, as well as the use of blankets and xenophobic posters against the migrant caravans carried by several participants of the march.

According to La Jornada, the organizers rigorously rejected in a statement “the way in which the past consultation on the NAIM was manipulated.” They also denounce “that it is intended to replace the laws and institutions of our democracy by crude simulations, which are attempted to be passed off as legitimate mechanisms.”

For more information in Spanish:

La marcha de la ultraderecha: #111111xMexico (Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2018)

Llega al Zócalo marcha en apoyo de NAIM en Texcoco (La Jornada, 11 de noviembre de 2018)

Activista homófobo de ultraderecha participa en ‘marcha fifí’ (SDPnoticias, 11 de noviembre de 2018)

Así fue la ‘marcha fifí’ en CDMX (Plumas Atómicas, 11 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mexico International Airport in Texcoco is canceled after consultation (November 3rd, 2018)

National: Disturbances in Indigenous Territories over the Implementation of Megaprojects: San Francisco Xochicuautla and Atenco (April 14th, 2016)

National: FPDT of Atenco initiates mobilizations following announcement of new airport
(September 15th, 2014)

National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues (May 16th, 2014)

Mexico: Atenco prisoners released (July 12th, 2010)